Eat for Eight Bucks: Baked Sweet Potato 'Fries'

Eat for Eight Bucks: Baked Sweet Potato 'Fries'

[Photograph: Robin Bellinger]

Shopping List

2 medium to large sweet potatoes: $1.25
3 hot dogs: $3.50
3 hot dog buns: $1.50

Pantry items: Brown sugar, kosher salt, pepper, olive oil, mustard

Total cost (for 2 portions): $6.25

Before my toddler daughter was born, I imagined that her arrival would drastically change our eating habits, and not for the better. In fact, our table has seen just a few small changes, almost all good. We eat sweet potatoes much more often, for example, and now I have an excuse to serve hot dogs for dinner.

A plain baked sweet potato is incredibly tasty, as far as I'm concerned, but Ina Garten's brown-sugared baked sweet potato fries are out of this world. Although I usually leave the peels on (out of laziness and a longstanding belief that the peels contain good stuff), they are even better peeled. With or without peeling, they come together very quickly and make a nice side for an easy and inexpensive meal of hot dogs or hamburgers.

I buy super delicious Prather Ranch hot dogs. Athough they are more expensive than the supermarket version, their taste and size (3 ounces each) makes them worth it, in my opinion. We chop them up very well, of course, for the baby, who, truth be told, is more interested in the buns and the fries.

Baked Sweet Potato 'Fries'

About the author: Robin Bellinger is a freelance editor and shameless cookie addict. She lives in San Francisco and blogs about what she feeds her husband and her daughter at home*economics.

  • Yield:4


  • 2 medium to large sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil


  1. 1.

    Preheat the oven to 450°F. Halve the sweet potatoes lengthwise and cut each half into 3 long spears. Combine the brown sugar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.

  2. 2.

    Put the potato spears on a sheet pan and toss with the olive oil. Spread them in one layer and sprinkle with the brown sugar mixture.

  3. 3.

    Bake for 15 minutes and then turn with a spatula. Bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Sprinkle lightly with salt and serve hot.